I like frogs. I do. Especially the little green peepers that we hear all summer down by the creek. You know it’s finally summer the first time you come home after dark to find one of these green guys suctioned onto your house just under the porch light, peering longingly at the moths fluttering around.
However, at least one of our frogs wants to live with us inside. (We don’t know if it’s the same frog or many frogs, since they never introduce themselves.) During my first interior experience with a tree frog, I was on the phone with my mom around dusk. Suddenly, on the wall across the room, I saw a long leg pop out from behind the chair—a long leg with spatulate toes, clinging to the wall. I’m sure I screeched something incoherent into the phone, because my mother yelled, “What’s happening? What’s happening?” about the same time that a second leg showed up a few inches below the other. By the time the entire body was showing, I was screaming into the garage for David to come get “a critter!” I had no idea what it was until he picked it up.
About a week later, I was the first one downstairs in the morning, so I flipped on the light and walked over to the ironing board in front of the living room windows. We often see frogs clinging to these windows, so I was not surprised to see a little amphibian right in the middle. After I’d turned on a few more lights, though, I noticed that he was greener than the usual pale, buff-colored abdomen that we normally see. I was looking at his back! “David!” Again my patient husband picked him up and put him outside. We really don’t leave our doors open or have holes in our screens. As a matter of fact, we close our windows downstairs at night, so I can’t imagine how they’re getting in!
Now we have one hanging out in the watering can. I have a 1 ½ gallon, red plastic watering can that I keep on the back porch. I bring it in and put it in the kitchen sink to fill. Last week, I started the water and noticed a frog jump up the inside of the can, looking panicked. He somehow got himself into the narrowest part of the spout, and I couldn’t figure out how to get him out without drowning him. David took it outside and removed the sprinkler spout at the end. The frog came shooting out, sailed over the porch railing, and landed in the grass below. I was sure he was dead, but David pointed him out, still hopping along the ground.
This weekend, I checked the can carefully before bringing it inside. All clear. I put the can in the sink and started the water, then walked into the laundry room to put clothes in the dryer. By the time I came back into the kitchen, the water was overflowing into the sink, and perched on top of the can’s handle—yep, our little green guy. Worse: David wasn’t home. I got the water off and spent a few minutes staring at the frog, working up my courage. The frog had his neck turned so that he could keep an eye on me, too. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I couldn’t pick him up. They just jump so far so fast! I yelled up the stairs to my son, “How good are you at catching frogs?” He answered, “Not very.” He’s never been a nature boy, but he did come downstairs and somehow decided that the best course of action would be to throw a dishtowel over him. First dishtowel: missed by a mile. Second dish towel: got him! But when he reached over to cup the dishtowel around where the frog was, he noticed that he was now sitting on a red cup beside the sink. He slowly picked up the cup and started toward the porch while I held the back door open. Miraculously, the frog stayed still for this entire trip, but as soon as we hit the porch, he leapt toward freedom and landed in the grass again. I don’t know how he survives every time!
Surprisingly, I still like frogs, but they’re easier to love at a distance. We’re going to have to name this one soon, and if he keeps getting inside, we’re going to start charging him rent.